Yin and Yang-Sensing Energy and Controlling It

Yin and Yang are relative terms that can be used to describe how one thing compares or relates to another, or to describe different aspects of the same thing. Understanding yin and yang we can create balance in what we are creating or doing. We can also use yin and yang “analysis” as a way of understanding what we are doing so that we can then create balance.

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Meridian Stretch

Learn the Meridians and how to Stretch Them.

Transmitting Change

In computer systems, wires can be used to deliver electricity from one place to another.

Within our body Meridians serve that purpose, helping to transmit change from one part of ourselves to another.

Where connection allows change to happen, disconnection prevents it.

The connective tissue of our body comprises a network that connects bones, muscle and organs, all interlinked in our body’s version of a world wide web. It also houses energy channels called meridians much the same way phone lines and cable lines connect and contain the parts of the internet.

Rather than just transmitting change in the form of electricity (or bio-electricity or qi) this network also transmits change via tension. That tension is applied and released by our bodies’ skeletal muscle.

By learning to sense and control whether our muscles are active or relaxed, by learning to feel the weight of our bones and position them with respect to the forces acting on themm, we can control and vary the tension in our body and thus effect the state of the meridians. We can sense change and create it, at the same time directing the flow of energy within ourselves via the connective tissue of our body and the meridians within those tissues.

Yin and Yang- Sensing Energy and Controlling it

If we think of energy, change or information as equivalents, different forms of each other, we can use the terms “Yin” and “Yang” to denote the direction that change is flowing in relative to ourselves.

We can also use Yin and Yang to refer to the flow of change relative to something outside of ourselves.

If we think of energy in the guise of information as something that we can sense and something that we can respond to, we can also use the term Yin to refer to sensing the flow of energy into ourselves and the term Yang to denote controlling or directing the flow of energy out of ourselves.

Using our senses we take note of the energy or information moving within ourselves or beyond ourselves. We can then shape the energy we send out in response.

Sensing is yin while controlling or responding is yang. Both of them together allow us to handle change or shape it.

Whether energy is moving from outside of ourselves to inside of ourselves, or whether it is moving from one place to another within ourselves, if we sense this flow then that sensing ability can be defined as Yin. Our response is Yang.

One interesting thing to note, the better we sense the energy we send out, the better we can fine tune the energy we continue to send out based on what we are trying to do. The better we direct the way we use our senses the more we can choose the information we take in so that it is relevant to what we are trying to do.

Thus while we can think of sensing as mostly yin, we can direct the way we use our senses which is Yang. And while we can think of controlling or responding as mostly Yang, we can sense the way that we respond which is Yin.

Having a Clear Idea

In each case, the thing that ties together Yin and Yang, helps them to work together is that of having a clear idea of what we are trying to do.

Having a clear idea of what we are trying to do we can direct  the way we use our senses And we can then Sense the way we respond based on that clear idea.

  • Inwards, sensing in Yin.
  • Outwards, controlling is Yang.
  • Energy, information or change is what we sense and control.

If we don’t have a clear idea of what we are trying to do then we can practice having a clear idea.
We can also practice sensing the parts of our body and controlling the relationships between them.

A clear idea is what we use to direct the way we use our senses and control what we do. Having a clear idea of what we are trying to do is what ties together and directs our ability to sense our body and control it so that we can create change and handle it. Having a clear idea we can unify yin and yang.

Understanding what we are trying to do we can use our senses and respond to what we sense based on the idea of what we are trying to do. The better we can use our senses and the better we can control our responses the better we can handle change and the better we can create it.

We can Dance in the Sea of Change.

Learning to Stretch-Practicing Sensitivity and Control

Relaxing a muscle and contracting it are both aspects of controlling our body. We can improve our ability to stretch our muscles, activate them and strengthen them by learning to feel our muscles and control them. We can focus feeling the belly of the a muscle since this is the part that does the work. We can also learn to feel our bones and the points of attachment between muscle and bones.

Focusing on the belly of a muscle we can feel when that muscle contracts and relaxes.

Focusing on the endpoints of a muscle, the points at which it attaches to bone, we can move these points away from each other or towards each other to help stretch a muscle or activate it.

This article focuses on learning to feel, control and relax the belly of a muscle so that we can stretch it.

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Muscle Layout

Some muscles cross and act on only one joint. Some muscles cross or act on two joints. Yet other muscles cross multiple joints. The better we understand the “Layout” of a muscle and the bones that it attaches to, the easier it will be for us to direct our awareness to the appropriate place so that we can feel our muscles activating or relaxing, and so that we can control them. If we have an understanding of where a muscle is located we can put our awareness in that place to feel it.

Looking at any anatomy book, we can see learn where the belly of a particular muscle is and then try to may that awareness to our own body. As an example, the biceps is located at the front of the upper arm. The belly of the biceps is located between the elbow and the shoulder. To feel our biceps, it helps if we focus our attention on the front of our upper arm. If we then bend our elbow and straighten so that the biceps contracts and relaxes we can then practice feeling our biceps.

If at the same time we are aware of how the biceps connects to the shoulder blade and lower arm, we can notice any pulling sensations at the shoulder and elbow and based on those sensations decide whether we are actually engaging the biceps or some other muscle as well.

We may find that we are engaging the brachioradialis or the coracobrachialis, the first of which attaches the upper arm bone to the radius, the second of which attaches from the upper arm to the coracoid process on the shoulder blade.

Muscle Actions

So that we can learn to activate and relax muscle tissue at will some basic understanding of how muscles work with and against each other can be useful.

Bones connect at joints so that they can move relative to each other. Muscles act on bones across joints to either change the relationship of the bones at that joint or maintain that relationship.

  • A muscle can contract and “close” the side of the joint it works on. The greater the force it works against the greater the muscle needs to contract
  • Muscles can work against each other with unequal force so that a joint closes in the direction of the stronger muscle
  • Muscles can work against each other with equal force so that a joint is stable
  • A muscle can gradually relax and allow the side of the joint it works on to “open.”
  • All muscles that act on a joint can be relaxed so that the joint is able to move freely.

In the first case, a muscle might be working against some outside force, or the weight of the body part it is acting on. Holding one arm straight out in front, we can bend the elbow and cause the biceps to engage. Since it is only the weight of the arm that is moving, the force required is minimal.

Holding a weight with our arm down by our side, the greater the weight the greater the force our biceps would have to exert in order to bend the elbow.

With the arm in front or by our side we could tense the triceps, at the back of the arm, and then engage the biceps. If the force of the triceps is only slightly less than that of the biceps then the elbow will slowly bend. We can thus use one muscle to help us engage another muscle.

If we slowly relax the biceps, reduce the force that it exerts, or we increase the force that the triceps exerts, then we gradually open the elbow.

Thus we can use body weight, the weight of some external object or an opposing muscle to help contract a muscle. To relax a muscle we simply relax or release the force that it is working on.

If our focus is on relaxing muscle tissue so that it can be stretched we need to be aware of any opposing forces that a muscle may be acting against, whether body weight, an opposing muscle, or some external weight or force, so that we can negate that force and allow the muscle to relax.

Note that if for some reason we feel unsafe, we may tense muscles in opposition to create stability and safety. This can work against us if our intent is to stretch. If we can figure out the reason why we feel unsafe or position ourselves in such a way that we feel safe it may then be easier for us to relax and stretch.

Relaxing and Contracting

When the fibers in the belly of a muscle contract, the muscle tries to shorten and pull the bones it attaches to towards each other. I say “Tries to Shorten” because if a muscle works against against a greater force then it will actually lengthen. However if it is working against a lesser force then it will shorten. If it is working against an equal force then it will stay the same length.

When a muscle is relaxed or inactive it tends to return to its resting length. If the bones that it is attached to are moved away from each other then the muscle will be lengthened. If moved gradually beyond it’s resting length the muscle will actually be stretched.

Tendons-Connective Tissue that Transmits Force

The belly of a muscle is attached to bone via connective tissue called tendons.When a muscle contracts it pulls on tendons which in turn pull on the bones that they are attached to. When the bones that a muscle is attached to are pulled apart these same tendons then help to lengthen the belly of the muscle. When the belly of the muscle creates a pulling force, it is the tendons that transmit this force.

Tendons are made up of connective tissue and this connective tissue extends into the belly of the muscle itself. It defines bundles of muscle fibers and allows them to move relative to each other as well as giving them something to pull on when they contract.

The connective tissue within the belly of a muscle has some elasticity so that they help the belly of the muscle return to its resting length when relaxed. It is this connective tissue that is lengthened when a muscle is stretched.

Positioning The Body to Relax So That we can Stretch

Since muscle tissue can lengthen even when active (because it is trying to act against a greater force,) just because a muscle is lengthening when we pull on it doesn’t mean we are stretching it. If we want to stretch a muscle we need to relax it so that we stretch the connective tissue within the belly of the muscle. One possible way of doing this is to gradually relax a muscle as we lengthen it. We can practice gradually lengthening to the point of total relaxation, hold for a moment, and then gradually contract.

Part of relaxing muscles at will is positioning the body in such a way that the muscles we want to relax can relax. In general this can mean providing a stable foundation for the muscle(s) that we are trying to stretch. This means making one of the bones or body parts to which that muscle is attached stable. Then the other part can move relative to the stable part.

As an example, in a standing forward bend we are trying to move the pelvis relative to the legs to lengthen the hamstrings. Since the hamstrings attach from the lower leg to the pelvis, we can stabilize  the lower leg, including the shin, ankle and foot, to give the hamstrings a stable foundation.

Laying on our back and pulling one leg back and down, we are moving the leg relative to the pelvis. So that the pelvis is stable we can activate the abs to unify it with the ribcage and stabilize the lower back. We again give the hamstrings a stable foundation.

So that we can give the muscle(s) we are stretching a stable foundation we need to know which parts of the body a muscle attaches to, and which of those parts we are moving relative to the other. We can then stabilize the other part so that the muscle in question can be stretched.

Leading with a Clear Idea

Another part of stretching or allowing ourselves to stretch is having a clear idea of what we are trying to do. If we define a foundation as something that allows us to do what we are trying to do, whether it is erect a building or stretch a muscle, then we can say that a clear idea is a foundation of sorts because it allows us to get on with what we are trying to do. Without a clear idea we don’t know what we are trying to do, and so we may have an idea of getting more flexible but not knowing how we are trying to get flexible while in a particular pose.

For example, in a seated forward bend we can reach our legs forwards and push our pelvis back to create space in the hip joint so that it is easier to bend forwards.

There are four hip muscles that connect the thigh to the pelvis which can be used to create space between the pelvis and the thigh bone. When focusing on reaching the legs forwards and pushing the pelvis back we can help to activate these muscles.

Since these muscles also cause the thighs to rotate externally, we can counter this tendency by engaging the outer hip muscles. Since the outer hip muscles can also be used to tip the pelvis forwards, this is doubly advantageous if we are doing a forward bend.

If we also focus on the idea of reaching forwards in a forward bend (as opposed to downwards), the process of reaching forwards will gradually bring our chest towards our legs. For this to happen we have to tilt our pelvis forwards. For this to happen, our hamstrings have to lengthen and prior to that they have to relax.

The clear idea we can then focus on is reaching our torso and legs forwards (while pressing our pelvis back.) This clear idea holds all of the smaller ideas together. In the process we lengthen the hamstrings which is the big idea of what we are trying to do.

If we aren’t focused on that one clear idea, other ideas may be occupying our mind. “When will this be over…. I hate this stretch…. I can’t do this… this is so uncomfortable.” All of these are also clear ideas but they are also ideas that hinder what we are trying to do. If we want to lengthen a part of our body then that is what we can focus on doing. Our body is then more likely to follow.

Using Weight or Supporting It

When a muscle is “tense” it is more than likely working against some outside force. When we are stretching, a muscle may be tense because it is trying to prevent part of the body from falling or collapsing so as to not be overstretched. In fact, our body is working against what we are trying to do.

To help a “tense” muscle relax we can try to relax or negate any forces that it is acting against.

In a forward bend where we are trying to stretch the hamstrings, the hamstrings may actually be engaging to help support the weight of the upper body, to prevent it from moving forwards. So that we can negate this tendency we can support the weight of our upper body by using our arms. We can then wait for our hamstrings to relax and then we can lower our upper body slightly by bending the elbows. Our hamstrings then may engage again but here again if we support the weight of our body in this new position then our hamstrings may release again at which point we can lower our upper body further.

Once we’ve trained our hamstrings to stay relaxed we can use the weight of the ribcage that we were previously supporting to actually help stretch the hamstrings. We can slowly and smoothly reach our hands off of the floor so that our ribcage is unsupported and we can even add weight by reaching our arms slowly forwards.

If we do this slowly and smoothly we are less likely to cause our hamstrings to tense up in fear. If at the same time we reach our arms and ribcage forwards, the weight of our body can be used to gradually lengthen our hamstrings.

Practicing Relaxation and Activation

One final technique bears mentioning is using slow, rhythmic repeated movements to both stretch muscle tissue and activate it. Such movements can be done in time with the breath if we can breath slowly enough but they can also simply be done slowly enough and smoothly enough that we can feel our muscles and bones as we move our body.

As an example, in the forward bend we can support our upper body with our hands so that our hamstrings can relax, we can then smoothly take our hands off of the floor and then reach our arms, ribs and head forwards while inhaling. We can put our hands back down on the floor and relax and then repeat.

We can add “clear idea” practice to this by focusing on reaching forwards when inhaling (and making the lower legs stable at the same time since we want the pelvis to move relative to the legs) and focusing on relaxing while exhaling.

While inhaling our upper body reaches forwards and our pelvis tilts forwards. While exhaling we support our upper body and gradually allow it to relax downwards while relaxing the hamstrings at the same time.

As we practice this movement we may then find that we can keep our hamstrings relaxed even as we lift our upper body and reach it forwards. We thus help to lengthen the connective tissue that is within them.

The Meridians-Allowing Energy to Flow

Within our body Qi flows along channels called meridians. These meridians run along the surface of our body along our arms, neck, torso and legs. They also run within our body connecting our organs to each other as well as to our extremities. These meridians are located mainly in the connective tissue of our body.

By maintaining or improving the health and function of our connective tissue we can maintain or improve the ability of our meridians to transmit change or Qi.

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Electricity, Information and Change

In computer systems electricity can be used to supply power, transmit information or do both at the same time. As an example you can use the USB port on your computer to recharge the battery of an mp3 device or download more music. Whether as information, power or both electricity causes change or creates the potential for change.

Qi (or Chi) is like electricity. It causes change to occur. Like electricity Qi can be used to transmit power or information or simply as a means of creating change.

Stretching the Meridians and Energizing Them-The Theory

One possible mechanism for creating charge in the meridians is from stretching and relaxing the connective tissue of the body. It may be that the connective tissue of the body has a piezo electric quality which means that it generates charge when it undergoes a change, such as when being stretched or relaxed. Repeated stretching and relaxing of Meridian/connective tissue, may then be used to generate a relatively constant flow of change.

As an example, we might be stretching the front of the torso. In so doing we stretch the connective tissue along the front of the belly and that which spans the front of the ribcage. As the front of the body is stretched and then released, a buzzing or tingling may result. The longer we stretch and/or the deeper we stretch, the bigger the “Charge” that we then develop and subsequently release. This “charge” may stay in the connective tissue where it was generatated and/or it may release to other parts of the body.

Another possible source of energy flow could be from the contraction and relaxation of muscle tissue. Since electrical activity occurs in muscle tissue when activated and relaxed, it may be that the connective tissue within muscle tissue acts as electrical wiring to carry “charge” away from the muscle when that muscle relaxes. Thus stretching and releasing muscle, and activating and releasingmuscle tissue can both be used to “charge” or energize the body.

  • Lung (white),
  • Pericardium (black),
  • Heart (red)
  • Large Intestine (white),
  • Triple Heater (black),
  • Small Intestine (red)

Stomach (yellow)

Spleen (yellow)

Bladder (blue)

Gall Bladder (green)
  • Spleen (yellow),
  • Liver (green),
  • Kidney (blue)

Transmitting Information via Tension

Continuing with the idea that the meridians are “embedded” in the connective tissue of our body, then one other way in which these “wires” can transmit change is through tension. This tension can be supplied by our muscles contracting. It can also be supplied by the weight of our bones being allowed to sink downwards with gravity. It can be relaxed by relaxing muscles tissue and supporting relevant “bony” elements (e.g. relax the meridians of your arms by supporting your elbows on a table.)

That tension can transmit change from one part of the body to another and it can also give us information about the state that our body is in. We can learn to listen to our body so that we can sense tension or its absence. We can then respond to that information.

As an example, if we sense that our shoulders are lifted and tense we can allow our shoulders to sink down and relax. That our shoulders do relax is the feedback we need to assure us that our body has done what we asked it to. We then control our body based on what we sense.

Creating Separation as Well as Connection

As well as connecting parts of the body to each other, connective tissue also allows creates separation between parts of the body. It allows muscle fibers or muscles that are right next to each other to slide relative to each other. This “lubricating” action also takes place between the organs and between organs and the bone structure that supports them.

For example the connective tissue that separates the lungs from the ribcage allows the lungs to move relative to the ribcage. By allowing the lungs to move freely connective tissue allows the lungs and ribcage to function efficiently together to draw air into the body and push it out.

Connective tissue transmits change and it allows change to happen in such a way that some parts of the body are affective and others are not. As a further example, connective tissue attaches the bottom of the lungs and the pericardium to the diaphragm so that when the diaphragm contracts it pulls down on the lungs and the pericardium. But connective tissue also connects the top of the stomach and liver to the bottom of the diaphragm so that when the diaphram moves upwards it carries the lungs and liver with it.

By maintaining the health of our body’s connective tissue and meridians, we maintain our body’s ability to transmit change and its ability to allow change to happen.

In places where connective tissue sticks together where it shouldn’t, stretching can help to losen it. In places where connective tissue has tightened, or become in-elastic, stretching may help to restore it.

Stretching the meridian/connective tissue while relaxing muscle tissue and energizing it by  activating muslce tissue we can encourage the natural flow of energy within our body. Health and Vitality can be the result.

Changing Our Mind-Focusing on What We Want to Do

One of the interesting things about stretching the connective tissue or the meridians within that connective tissue is how our state of mind can affect our flexibility.

The ability for our muscles to relax so that our connective tissue can be stretched might directly relate to how happy, fearful, worried, relaxed or present we are while stretching. (This can be true in some people, not true in others. If we are aware of our degree of flexibility and out mental health on any given day we can draw our own conclusions as to whether this is true for ourselves or not.)

In this case the meridians do truly transmit the change that we are thinking about. If we are worried, our body tightens. If we are happy, our body losens and is more flexible.

Another way in which our mind can affect our body is in our ability to get more flexible. If we believe that it is too difficult or too hard then we either won’t stretch because of that belief or we limit ourselves to stretch when we are in the process of stretching.

One possible solution is to focus on what we are trying to do instead of what we can’t do. Doing a forward bend we can focus on tilting our pelvis forwards (as opposed to focusing on how difficult it is.) We could also focus on lengthening our spine, on breathing and or moving slowly and smoothly. We can also focus on feeling our body and responding to what we sense.

Trying to lengthen our hamstrings we can focus on relaxing them so that we can stretch them, and if that doesn’t work we can focus on positioning our body in such a way so that they can relax.

Changing our mind may very well be the first step towards being more flexible as well as towards gaining sensitivity and control of our body.

Stretching the Meridians-In Practice

Meridians run along well defined lines which in places correspond to muscles or groups of muscles while in other places they correspond to “joint mobilities”-directions in which the bones that make up a joint can move.

To stretch a particular meridian we can simply focus on stretching along the line that the meridian runs. So that we can do that it can be helpful to learn the pathways of the 12 ordinary meridians. Once we know the pathway of each meridian we can figure out how to stretch it or energize it or we can analyze a posture or action to see which meridians are stretched or energized.

If a meridian crosses the front of the hip (like the stomach meridian does) then we can stretch the meridian at that location by opening the front of the hip. We can do a lunge and reach one leg back so that the front of the hip of that leg is stretched.

If a meridian runs along the length of a muscle then we can lengthen that muscle.

As an example the stomach meridian runs down the front of the leg along the rectus fermoris which attaches the front of the pelvis to the front of the knee. We can stretch this meridian and the corresponding muscle by bending the knee completely and then tilting our pelvis and upper body backwards. We thus stretch the rectus femoris by bending the knee and opening the front of the hip joint. For a complete stretch of the stomach meridian we also stretch the front of the ankle as well as the front of the belly and ribcage.

We can try try to stretch the stomach meridian all at once or focus on each part one at a time.

Because of the interconnected nature of the meridians it is hard to just work on one meridian at a time when stretching or energizing the body. Generally, whenever we stretch one meridian other meridians are affected. If we are aware of the pathways of all of the meridians we can also realize which meridians are being stretched at the same time.

As an example, both the Stomach and Kidney Meridians run up the front of the torso. Thus we know that if we bend our spine backwards we not only stretch the stomach meridian but the kidney meridian also. As a result we can use single postures to stretch multiple meridians at the same time.

If we are aware of the interconnectedness of the meridian network as a whole, we can use this to guide stretches and even to design our postures. For example, the large intestine meridian runs up the back of the arm, up the side of the neck and then across to the opposite side of the face. From there it connects to the stomach meridian which runs down the front of the body and leg. We can stretch the Large Intestine and Stomach Meridian at the same time by doing a lunge while pulling the front leg arm across the chest while tilting the head to the opposite side.

Knowing that the three inner leg meridians all connect via the front of the body to the three meridians that run down the front of the arms, we can accompany or follow stretching or energizing the inner thighs with positions that stretch or energize the front of the arms.

  • Lung (white),
  • Pericardium (black),
  • Heart (red)
  • Large Intestine (white),
  • Triple Heater (black),
  • Small Intestine (red)

Stomach (yellow)

Spleen (yellow)

Bladder (blue)

Gall Bladder (green)
  • Spleen (yellow),
  • Liver (green),
  • Kidney (blue)

Learning the Meridians-The Meridian Pathways

The meridians are connected as follows:

  • Lungs, Large Intestine,
  • Stomach, Spleen,
  • Heart, Small Intestine,
  • Bladder, Kidneys,
  • Pericardium, Triple Heater,
  • Gall Bladder, Liver.

The Lung Meridian

The Lung Meridian runs down the outside edge of the front of the arm to the thumb. The Large Intestine Meridian startsat the index finger and runs up the back of the arm along the outside edge.

The Large Intestine Meridian

The Large Intestine Meridian runs up the neck and across the space between the bottom of the nose and the top of the upper lip, crossing the body’s center line to connect to the stomach meridian.

The lungs and large intestine both run along the outside edge of the arm. They are both associated with the element of “metal” and the color white.

The Stomach Meridian

The Stomach Meridian runs down the front of the body. Running down the toro it crosses the nipple and runs down the outside edge of the rectus abdominus and down the front of the thighs and lower leg to the foot where it connects to the big toe and the second toe.

The Spleen Meridian

The Spleen Meridian runs along the front edge of the inner thigh. It starts at from the top of the big toe. Running up the torso it follows a line to the outside of the stomach meridian.

The spleen and stomach are respectively yin and yang aspects of the earth element which is represented by yellow.

The Heart Meridian

The Heart Meridian runs along the inside edge of the front of the arm ending at the pinky.

The Small Intestine Meridian

The Small Intestine Meridian runs up the back of the arm along the inside edge. It starts from the back side of the pinky. It zig-zags across the spine of the shoulder blade, runs up the side of the neck to the outer corner of the eye and then to a point just in front of the ear.

The heart and small intestine are yin and yang aspects of the fire element which is represented by the color red.

The Bladder Meridian

The Bladder Meridian runs down the back of the body and back of the leg. It starts at the inside corner of the eye, runs over the top of the head and down the back of the body. To either side of the spine it has two lines on each side. These two lines zag outwards and down at the buttock and then recombine to form one line just behind each knee. The Bladder Meridian runs down the back of the calf to the outside of the heel and down the outside of the foot. It ends at the tip of the small toe where it then connects to the Kidney Meridian.

The Kidney Meridian

The Kidney Meridian runs up the back line of the inner thigh. It starts at the bottom of the foot from the the little toe back and to the inside edge of the foot where it follows the inside of the arch to then do a circle around the inside of the ankle. It then ascends the back edge of the inner thigh to the perinium and then runs up the front of the body close to the center line, connecting to the collar bone just inside the point where it connects to the sternum.

The kidney and bladder meridians are yin and yang aspects of the water element which is represented by blue or black.

The Pericardium Meridian

The Periciardium Meridian runs down the center line of the front of the arm to the tip of the middle finger.

The Triple Heater Meridian

The Triple Heater Meridian runs up the center of the back of the arm from the ring finger. It ascends the neck and circles behind the ear.

These two meridians have no associated element.

The Gullbladder Meridian

The Gull Bladder Meridian runs down the side of the body and side of the leg. It starts from in front of the ear, and coils back and forwards along the side of the head, each zag taking it higher up the skull. It then descends down the front of the shoulder and down the side of the body.

The Liver Meridian

The Liver Meridian runs up the inner thigh between the kidney and spleen meridians. It completes the meridian circuit by connecting back to the lung meridian at the front of the shoulder.

The liver and gull bladder meridians are related to the wood element and the color green.

Meridian Summary:

The lung, pericardium and heart meridians run down the front of the arm towards the hands. The large intestine, triple heater and small intestine run up the back of the arm and the side of the neck. The stomach meridian runs up the front of body, the bladder down the back of the body, while the gall bladder runs down the side of body.The spleen, liver and kidney meridians run up the inner thighs.
Metal Element, color white:

  • Lungs-Front of Arm-Outside Edge
  • Large Intestine-Back of the Arm-Outside Edge

Earth Element, color yellow;

  • Stomach-Front of the Torso, Front of the Leg
  • Spleen-Front Line of the Inner Thigh, Front of the Torso

Fire Element, color red;

  • Heart-Front of the Arm-Inside Edge
  • Small Intestine-Back of arm, Inside Edge

Water Element, color Blue or Black;

  • Bladder-Back of the Torso, Back of the Legs
  • Kidneys-Back Line  of the Inner Thigh, Front of the Torso

No Element;

  • Pericardium-Front of the Arm-Center Line
  • Triple Heater: Back of Arm-Center Line

Wood Element, color Green;

  • Gall Bladder-Side of the Torso, Side of the Leg
  • Liver: Center Line of the Inner Thigh.